Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Mini Lemon Meringues
I say very laid back as there isn't really a recipe as such. It started off as a recipe somewhere along the line but has evolved into a whatever happens happens kind of thing!
So here goes...
Pack of biscuits
A few tablespoons of butter
Two egg yolks
Tin of condensed milk
Two lemons or bottled lemon juice
Four egg whites
1. Grab a packet of biscuits of your choice. If you're in SA then Tennis Biscuits are the way forward! If not, any kind of sugar biscuits will do. I usually use the whole pack (apart from the few that go straight into my mouth).
2. Melt enough butter in the microwave (I use unsalted but I don't think it matters much) to make the crumbs stick together when pushed into the pie dish. Too dry and the base will be crumbly, too wet and the base will stick to the tin when you serve.
3. Press the biscuit mixture into the bottom of the pie dish or cupcake cases if you're making mini ones. No one likes too think a base so don't go overboard!! Put the dish in the fridge while you make the filling.
3. A tin of condensed milk, two egg yolks and juice from two lemons all get whisked together until they start to thicken. They will never thicken as much as you'd like but don't worry, it will set in the fridge. Pour into your base and back in the fridge while you do the meringue.
4. This is the fun part. I'm pretty sure the original recipe said to just use the two egg whites leftover from the lemon filling but I say the more meringue, the better! So I usually use at least four. Whisk (by hand or machine) until white. Now this may seem obvious to some but do yourself a favour and make sure the bowl is clean and dry, one drop of water and your egg whites will not do what you want them to do. A metal or glass bowl works best. Once white, start adding the castor sugar and continue to whisk. Just keep adding until the meringue forms peaks when you lift the whisk. Rule of thumb is about three tablespoons of sugar to two egg whites.
5. Use a metal spoon to pile the meringue onto the lemon filling. Use the back of the spoon or a fork to make the peaks and then chuck it in the oven until the peaks are golden brown! About 180*C for 15 minutes should do the trick.
And that is that - I've written this in a long winded way but it really is easy once you know how. And a good way to impress your dinner guests.
The mini ones are a really good way to serve because if the mixture hasn't set for any reason, no one will ever know! I've also done them in individual ramekin dishes which works very well!